Developing today for an unknown tomorrow

This weekend, England Rugby kick off their first game of a three-Test summer tour against South Africa, which is being labelled as a test of Eddie Jones’s rapidly developing side ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

For some of the younger players in the squad, it’s the World Cup four years on from that – the one in 2023, a whole five years away! – that’s their target.

I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to really get to know some of these guys through a series of off-field development events that Leading Edge has designed, created and co-ordinated for England Rugby.

Building character has been behind these impactful activities: developing the players’ characters for something that hasn’t happened yet. How these players will need to be to win that competition is something that they’ll need to invent themselves, and the off-field camps are gearing them up for that with a focus on growing as individuals, building on lessons learnt and working hard for each other.

This same challenge of developing today for an unknown tomorrow is faced by many of Leading Edge’s clients – particularly the fast-paced ones whose businesses will look very different in 20, 10 or even five years’ time.

In a traditional development programme, you identify what ‘good’ looks like and support people with moving towards that. But when ‘good’ is yet to be defined, our support is all about helping individuals or teams to find their own pathway and initiate leadership and teamship within that, whether who we’re supporting is preparing to step onto the pitch at the 2023 Rugby World Cup or into a new role within an ever-evolving business environment.